Forums - Gaming Discussion - I just don't get why silent protagonist's are still a thing in video games!

Do you like Silent Protagonists

Love them 21 39.62%
 
They are OK 16 30.19%
 
Don't like them 16 30.19%
 
See results 0 0.00%
 
Total:53

I've been playing through Astral Chain and I can't help but notice how out of place all the cutscenes and story is so far with a silent protagonist. It just doesn't work. I don't get why they are still a thing today. I know its suppose to give immersion or something, but it really just kills the flow and immerse for me. For example:

Xenoblade X" implementation of a silent protagonist was disastrous and helped result in a lackluster story. Look how great the story and immersion was in the first and 2nd game, all had talking protagonist. Xenoblade X constantly had protagonist ask you questions only for you to make movements or pretend to talk. it kills any type of cohesion the game could have.

YS 8: I'll admit, this game didn't have the worst implementation of a silent protagonist. The story relied very little on your character having interactions with others. Like Astral Chain and Xenoblade did.

Astral Chain - It really make no sense why you can't talk in this game. You have comment boxes, they ask you questions, and its very story based game. It kills all immersion you have in the story. i just don't get it, other than being cheap, why they do this.

Breath of Wild - Link is silent and I can't help but feel it would improve the game if he talked. People speak about how weak the story is in BOTW and I feel a big reason for that is the limitations of dialogue Link can do. While I will admit, the developers did a good job at creating cutscenes around a silent Link. But in a game with more of a elaborate story, a silent Link might become a  much larger hindrance.  Though, arguing for a character that has always been silent to now talk would be a losing battle. But a new IP, its very different.

So what do you guys think of silent protagonists, I absolutely hate them. Some indie games it can work, but these long big budget games it just doesn't.



     

Check out my lastest games review: Fast RMX and  Snipperclips: Cut it out Together

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Well, they were supposed to be the voice of the player instead and blah blah.

Nowadays they're mostly gone of AA and AAA games with Link being the only major offender left. Interestingly, such game design philosophy was so strong in Zelda that it wasn't before BoTW that characters even called "Link" by the name of "Link" I think?



 

 

 

 

 

haxxiy said:

Well, they were supposed to be the voice of the player instead and blah blah.

Nowadays they're mostly gone of AA and AAA games with Link being the only major offender left. Interestingly, such game design philosophy was so strong in Zelda that it wasn't before BoTW that characters even called "Link" by the name of "Link" I think?

Main reason for Link now being called link is due to voice acting.

But yeah immersion -> voice of player. With how grand cut scenes are now with voice acting, silent protagonists just doesn't work anymore. it can be quite jarring when a big game tries now a days.



     

Check out my lastest games review: Fast RMX and  Snipperclips: Cut it out Together

Depends on the game for me, is very much a case by case basis.

For some of your examples like XCX and BotW, that is more how the story is told that doesn't work for some rather than the main character. Same people could adore previous Zelda stories like Wind Waker or Skyward Sword that also feature a silent Link, but don't like how the story in BotW gets told through individual memories rather than a linear story, personally I love it, but I can see why others don't get engaged with it.

Then there is Xenoblade X, where the main story isn't as impactful or that well paced compared to 1 and 2, because that takes a backseat in favor of its worldbuilding, is pretty much a game where you won't get much from the main stuff but rather the side stories.

Haven't played Astral Chain, but for these kinds of crazy action rides, the more personality filled characters like a Bayonetta, a Dante or a colorful bunch of heroes like W101 is more appreciated for me.



Let's have a champion time!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUG_NS0xqSY

I do think certain franchises work better with it than others, and I also think it's possible to change from silent to voiced. Remember when Jak went from silent protagonist in Jak in Daxter to angry badass in Jak 2? They handled that pretty well, honestly, or at least as well as could be expected going from a simple collectathon to a story driven action adventure. They actually addressed it in game, it was the result of two years of torture, which made it seem like the protagonist in the first game was just innocent and shy, but could in theory talk, just chose not to because he was a bit timid, and after all that torture hardened him, he just didn't give a fuck anymore. That wouldn't work so well with any incarnation of Link we've seen. Perhaps if they ever completely remade Ocarina of Time, he could start out as a similar silent, shy protagonist as the outcast of the forest only accepted by Saria, then find his voice as he grows up and has to face the world in the dark state Ganondorf left it in. Or something like that, I dunno. They'd have to handle it just right. Zelda's story has always been kind of light, with its deepest development being in its lore rather than the actual plot points. It has the makings of a deeper game though, and a voiced protagonist could probably help with that, but it would take the perfect vision for a voiced Link to make the fans accept it, and I doubt Nintendo is ready to risk that anytime soon.



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I don't mind Link and Gordon Freeman but only them.. however i think it sucks in Astral Chain that you character doesn't speak and it's really strange and just feels wrong i have more problems with Astral Chain than that i don't think it's an amazing game the way fanboys portray it on Metacritic for example.

But yes i agree with you i guess.



Because for many players it's easier to feel more immersed as the main character when they're silent as the player is more able to fill the gaps with a personality of their choice rather than one the developer has chosen. Voiced protagonists are imo one of the most overstated in how people make them out to be as a lot of the time we get the same generic personalities which is why I'm glad Zelda still doesn't have Link speak.



sub-zero-TM said:
I don't mind Link and Gordon Freeman but only them.. however i think it sucks in Astral Chain that you character doesn't speak and it's really strange and just feels wrong i have more problems with Astral Chain than that i don't think it's an amazing game the way fanboys portray it on Metacritic for example.

But yes i agree with you i guess.

I didn't think about Gordon Freeman, that's actually a really good example of a game with great story done well even though the protagonist is silent. Of course, that's largely because of Alyx. Imagine if BotW 2 is super story heavy, and Zelda is traveling with you a lot and does all the talking? They could really do a lot with that.



HylianSwordsman said:
sub-zero-TM said:
I don't mind Link and Gordon Freeman but only them.. however i think it sucks in Astral Chain that you character doesn't speak and it's really strange and just feels wrong i have more problems with Astral Chain than that i don't think it's an amazing game the way fanboys portray it on Metacritic for example.

But yes i agree with you i guess.

I didn't think about Gordon Freeman, that's actually a really good example of a game with great story done well even though the protagonist is silent. Of course, that's largely because of Alyx. Imagine if BotW 2 is super story heavy, and Zelda is traveling with you a lot and does all the talking? They could really do a lot with that.

Good point just goes to show what an masterpiece HL2 and the two other parts are.



I'd rather them be silent like the Luminary in DQXI than having the most annoying voices possible, like Tidus in FFX or Vanille in FFXV.